Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito addresses the audience during the “The Emergency Docket” lecture Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 in the McCartan Courtroom at the University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Ind. (Michael Caterina /South Bend Tribune via AP)
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In a Friday opinion column for The New York Times, columnist Maureen Dowd wrote a searing condemnation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for his leaked draft opinion on a potential ruling to dismantle Roe v. Wade.
Dowd’s piece condemned Alito’s opinion as the Puritans’ “greatest victory” in 400 years and described him as a “holier-than-thou preacher” focused on reining in “female sexuality.”
Dowd presented her column as a commentary on America’s dueling concepts of sexual liberation and “priggishness.” She claimed this notion manifested itself to her when seeing simultaneous news stories of Kim Kardashian “actually wearing Marilyn’s [Monroe] dress” at the Met Gala and of the Supreme Court leak.
“As I was contemplating the comeback of this sartorial symbol of American seduction, I got another news bulletin: The Supreme Court was going to yank away the right of women to control their own bodies, strapping us into a time machine hurtling backward,” Dowd wrote.
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 13: Maureen Dowd attends 92nd Street Y Presents: Christine Amanpour In Conversation With Maureen Dowd at 92nd Street Y on March 13, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
It then dawned on the columnist: “The two simultaneous emails were a perfect distillation of America’s bizarre duality — our contradictory strains of sexuality and priggishness.”
Dowd began her criticism of Alito as a religious zealot who belongs in 17th century colonial America with history’s greatest Puritans.
“Samuel Alito’s antediluvian draft opinion is the Puritans’ greatest victory since they expelled Roger Williams from the Massachusetts Bay Colony,” she wrote. The columnist didn’t stop there, comparing him to a “holier-than-thou preacher” who’s often found in “American literature” who needs to control women.
“Alito is a familiar type in American literature: the holier-than-thou preacher, so overzealous in his attempts to rein in female sexuality and slap on a scarlet letter that one suspects he must be hiding some dark yearnings of his own,” she said.
Several other outlets targeted Alito in headlines, columns, and guest essays. The Washington Post published a piece titled, “Justice Alito’s rosy view of pregnancy is fantasy.” The liberal Slate Magazine wrote multiple, breathless pieces on the justice, including, “Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion is shocking in tone and tenor,” and “Conservatives are lying about the impact of Alito’s leaked draft opinion on Roe.”
Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for Guardian US, left nothing to the imagination with his piece titled, “Samuel Alito: The abrasive justice taking abortion rights back to the 17th century.”
Alito, Pilkington wrote, “will forever be known as the supreme court justice who destroyed a woman’s right to control her own body and who set the US on a regressive course pointing back to the 17th century.”
“On Abortion, Beware the Feminism of Samuel Alito,” a guest essay from New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon read.
Throughout her piece, Dowd condemned other American conservatives, including Alito’s colleague Justice Clarence Thomas, Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., former President Donald Trump and others, but made sure to keep ragging on her prime target.
FILE – In this April 23, 2021, file photo members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool) (AP)
She claimed that the Founding Fathers would “be devastated that the court is just another hack institution with partisan leaks” thanks to Alito, who “helped open the door to dark money and helped gut the Voting Rights Act.”
“These rogue justices are always ready to twist the Constitution to their purposes,” Dowd continued. “They are strict constructionists all right, strictly interested in constructing a society that comports with their rigid, religiously driven worldview.”
Dowd gave the justices one last rough send off in her column, claiming, “It is outrageous that five unelected, unaccountable and relatively unknown political operatives masquerading as impartial jurists can so profoundly alter our lives.”
Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky., as Kentucky lawmakers debate overriding the governor’s veto of an abortion measure. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner)